Q. I have recently come back to the Lord after being away for 15 years. Now I’m so hungry for Him, for His word, and for the fellowship of other Christians. He guided me to a church family where I can be filled, and I’m very thankful, especially for His wonderful grace.
In the meantime, I struggle almost every single day, with my emotions, with doubt, feelings of unworthiness, trying to live out my faith. According to Ephesians chapter 6, we are to be strong in the Lord….etc. and put on various pieces of spiritual armor. How do we do this?
A. Your struggles are caused by the enemy trying to get you off the path again. James 4:7 says that if you resist the devil, he’ll flee from you and this is what Ephesians 6:10-18 is all about. Each piece of the armor symbolizes something we do, and we must put on all the armor to be fully protected.
The belt of truth stands for God’s promises. It protects your “gut”, the core of your beliefs. He will never leave you and will never lose you (John 6:39-40). Even during the time you were “away” He was with you (Matt. 28:20). No one can take you out of His hands. (John 10:27-30) and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39). We have to know what He has promised us.
The breastplate of righteousness protects your heart. God’s righteousness is imputed to you by faith. (Romans 3:21-22) No one is worthy, so it has nothing to do with our worthiness. It’s all about His faithfulness. Romans 10:9 says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Having your feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace has to do with your “walk”. Phil. 4:4-7 tells us that to receive His peace, we rejoice in all things. Nothing will cause the enemy more frustration than a continual attitude of gratitude. Paul’s letters tell us how to express our gratitude. Following his advice pleases the Lord and drives the enemy crazy.
A shield is movable and can be placed between us and the weapons of attack, where ever they come from. The shield of faith stands for our belief in the Lord’s power to defeat our enemies. We meet each attack with the belief that we’ve already achieved victory. The Lord said we’d have trials in this world, but to take heart because He’s overcome the world. (John 16:33)
A helmet protects our head, where our knowledge of God resides. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 says we have the power to demolish every stronghold and every pretension that conflicts with our knowledge of God. We can take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
Our sword is the weapon with which we counter every attack. It represents God’s word. It’s what Jesus used to defeat the devil in the wilderness temptation. (Matt. 4:1-11)
Praying as the Spirit leads us is how we stay in touch with the Lord. Paul said we should pray “without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17).
As you can see being fully equipped for battle requires knowing God’s word. Having zeal for the Lord without the knowledge of His Word is like charging into battle without protection or weapon. No soldier would ever go into battle this way. Neither should we.